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Sustainability Education: Continuing Professional Development for School Teachers and Faculty

Primary and secondary schools are formative environments for building the capacity of individuals to create changes toward sustainability.

Although professional development is an essential mechanism for enabling educators to understand and teach sustainability principles and practices, many programs are outdated and overly theoretical. The key is in their design; they should engage teachers in tangible and interactive ways and directly translate to the classroom. Thus, the goal of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is to effectuate changes in education at all levels — K-12 through higher education — resulting in a generation with deeply rooted sustainability competence.

In the first year of the project (2017), K-12 CPD workshops are organized in three locations: Ireland, led by Dublin City University (DCU); Germany, led by Leuphana University Lüneburg (LUL); and, Mexico, led by Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) and Arizona State University (ASU).

The workshops focus on increasing teachers’ competence and confidence in teaching about sustainability, taking into consideration impacts on students’ learning outcomes. Partnerships with the schools and local organizations will enable the team to provide experiential learning that brings in real-world components. By the end of the project, the teachers will implement sustainability curriculum and projects in their schools.

In year two, the project will scale the K-12 model, broadening its reach to teachers in other GCSO member locations. The team will also explore how content can be adapted and implemented in universities to build capacity in faculty in order to improve the integration of sustainability concepts into content courses and the teaching of sustainability across curricula.

GCSO Participants:

Arizona State University (ASU) Dublin City University (DCU)
    Cliona Murphy, STEM Education, Innovation & Global Studies, DCU
    Greg Smith , STEM Education, Innovation & Global Studies, DCU
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM)
    Monica Delgado,Campus Sustainability Program, ITESM
    Francisco Lozano, Department of Engineering Sciences, ITESM
    Yasmany Mancilla, Department of Engineering Sciences, ITESM
    Alberto Mendoza, Department of Engineering Sciences, ITESM
Leuphana University Lüneburg (LUL)